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For Telugu Speakers

There are some 80 million souls who speak Telugu and so it was natural that we would create an edition of Path to Siva, our catechism for youth, for them and their children. It took most of a year to have a team in Madurai translate the 68 lessons, then a Kauai devotee, Voleti Chaudhari volunteered to proof it, then inputting the corrections and finally, yesterday we put the PDF on our site. You can download it here:
https://kauaishindumonastery.com/books/path-to-siva-telegu-2/

Russian Language Initiatives

The team in Moscow continues to repurpose our Himalayan Academy work energetically. Their team leader, Dinanatha Bodhiswami, emailed a few days back sharing that they wish to add the Saivite Hindu Religion, Book One to their list of books. Having done the entire trilogy and Loving Ganesha, they seek to reach the young ones.

It is a simple book, all in black and white, giving dharmic teachings in four languages: English, Tamil, Bahasa Malaysia and French. Each page is illustrated with the concept being presented to the children. The files were sent and now translation will take place ahead of printing.

CyberCadets will know that this same team has been publishing Hinduism Today in Russian for several years, and each year compiles the four issues into a bound volume, shown in the slideshow.

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Monks Making AI Music

Aum Namah Sivaya!

Something fun for the last day of our 5-day lunar phase.

And as they say, another day, another step forward in AI, and while for most of the world this technology is evolving too fast to keep track of (us not excluded), the monks at Kauai Aadheenam are still trying to keep up with the new developments—knowing that machine learning will play a common role in all of our futures. First chat bots, then photo generation (like the one of this robot composing music) and then video and music. All digital arenas seem to be an area that ai can reach into.

Our monks recently found this tool called Suno, which allows you to create instant songs about anything in any style. Currently anyone can log in with their google account and generate a handful of songs each day. It's undeniably fun to experiment with. We've been trying to get it to generate bhajans, but that doesn't seem to work too well yet. Still here are some just-for-fun examples we created. Most are generated with simple prompts such as "Folk song about the Monks of Kauai's Hindu Monastery" and after 12 seconds it gives you this, completely generated by ai:

Or how about "dramatic orchestral about the joy found in eating pineapples and dancing with Hippos" which gives you this (the last verse cuts off from a file size limit..):

For a change of style, here's a reggae song about our cat at the monastery named Bandit:

And here's an example of if you add your own lyrics. This one was done using a short poem (lyrics below), and Suno added the music and vocals.

Poem lyrics: A simple mind, a simple life. No agitation from joy, no elation from strife. No ripples to make a splash in this lake of calm, no need to be something great or to author a psalm. Just a life, like a bending blade of windy grass, glancing over all time like looking through glass. The floor is vibrations, the walls aren’t quite real, the ceilings barely there, for the open sky, I can feel. The infinite within the mind, glowing and bounding through all, a floating feeling, a mystic call. The air is pungent, but invisible to see, the trees are laughing, or is it me? The sparkles in leaf tips, the shadows gleam light, this world’s a wonder as my soul takes to flight. An endless horizon means you’re in a circle around a sphere, break free and you soon see that you find yourself here. Right where I am, it’s the same where you are. We have the same heartbeat and the same karmic scar. We’ve lived human lives, and danced through their fable. We’ve grown and changed as much as we’re able. Now we sit together in this space, this room made of light: I ask that you lower your ego and for you too, to take into flight. Join us all in your finale within, I’ll bring the love and joy, and you bring the din. We must have both shadow and light, to know the truths and final Real. We must have everything to be nothing, and that’s the deal.

Gurudeva App Update – Now Released for Android Users

Jai Gurudeva!

The Gurudeva app has now been released for Android users.

Visit the Google Play Store to find it for your device: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.himalayanacademy.gurudeva

An Update to the Gurudeva App for Apple’s iOS

Long ago, the first mobile app Himalayan Academy produced was a rather simple concept: random photos and quotes from Gurudeva to keep you inspired. Long had this little app been enjoyed by those who knew about it, and long has it been in need of some updates to its code and interface. Over the last few weeks our team has been rebuilding it and yesterday we released the version for Apple iOS and it is also released for Android.

You can get it for iPhone here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gurudeva/id1031437551

And Android Here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.himalayanacademy.gurudeva

Or if you already have it installed, simply update the app.

Lion Sage on YouTube

If you have a young child or know someone who does, our highly-illustrated "Lion Sage" book has now been turned into 19 short videos with simple animation and character narration. This is a great teaching tool for young ones, being the mystical teachings found in Gurudeva's "Merging with Siva" brought into language for 3-8 year olds by the monks. The narrated and animated videos are a great achievement, accomplished by Venkatesh in Australia. Now you can have bedtime stories with spiritual content for the little ones, bringing children and their parents together in a spiritual way. Some think it's better to wait until they are older to hear some of the profound ideas, but Gurudeva felt they are never too young to hear of the deeper ideas in life. You can access the videos using this Playlist link. No kids? Forward the link to those who have little ones.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeEp57jcBSjpbmfg1gmrvOsmEhfh3v_ml


Venkatesh has a six-year-old son, and the two of them have been sharing these stories nightly for several weeks. Their experience is worth sharing:

"Every night when I play the "Lion Sage" bedtime stories for my son, more than him, Im learning more from the stories nowadays. Even as I type this email on my phone, I finished listening to 3 chapters. Though I now feel it could have been done better (after listening to the audio podcasts at bedtime almost three times a week, repeating again and again), I think it is one of the most valuable lessons every kid must listen to.

"Thank you so much for having given me a chance to work on this great book. It was a magical experience for me. The learnings are too deep. I have to pause at times to really get the full message in silence while listening, and then I resume the clips. They are amazing!"


The Sweet Hymns of Tayumanavar

Today we heard from Sivakumaran in Singapore that our Oduvar there has completed more recordings of the songs of Saint Tayumanavar and they will be sent to us as soon as he returns from India. That progress inspires us to share a couple of the devotional quatrains and a canvas our own S. Rajam painted for the future book, probably published in 2025.

Here are three songs as translated by our swamis.

CANTO 33

Song 6
Just as the heavenly waters cascade over the hills, the flood of my love's tears courses over my breast. Have You not seen that, O Being uncreated Who flows as the pellucid river of peace? O blissful Lord in Whom the musical streams of the four Vedas find symphonic confluence! O Being pervasive!


Song 7
Have You not seen my heart and face droop as I yearn for the day I will join Your fellowship of devotees? O Lord, know that I am the one with folded hands seeking Your grace, singing in all directions. O Being pervasive!


Song 9
Lacking wisdom, I praise You not, nor seek liberation. Such a fool am I! Alas, what must I do to tread the holy path? Will Your benign grace not grant me at least sufficient devotion to serve Your noble devotees? O Being pervasive!

We asked ChatGPT to summarize his songs in 100 words:


Thayumanavar, an 18th-century Tamil saint and poet, is renowned for his devotional songs that deeply explore the inner journey towards the divine through love, surrender, and union. His poetry, rich in metaphysical and philosophical insights, emphasizes the importance of detaching from worldly attachments and realizing the self's oneness with the Supreme Being. Thayumanavar's verses blend intense devotion with profound mysticism, inviting seekers to experience the divine presence within. His work, a cornerstone of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, continues to inspire devotion and spiritual introspection, emphasizing the transcendental nature of seeking God within the heart's silence.

Serving the Dharmic Religions #4 – Hinduism

Over the last year, our publications team in Kauai has been quietly working on a sizable side project sponsored by the Uberoi Foundation. The project is intended to assist in the presentation of the four Dharmic faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, as per the foundation's goal. This particular video is meant to teach about the Hindu religion in California 6th grade social studies classes. The Malibu Hindu Temple's main shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was built in the traditional style of South India and opened in 1981. Students were welcomed into the temple and given an overview of the beautiful architectural features. They then participated in an archana (special prayer) in front of the main shrine. The tour continued with visits to the smaller surrounding shrines while learning of the attributes of the Deities and concluded with insightful questions asked by the group.

Directed by Mainak Dhar, Produced by Gabriel Bruskoff.

Serving the Dharmic Religions #2 – Jainism

Over the last year, our publications team in Kauai has been quietly working on a sizable side project sponsored by the Uberoi Foundation. The project is intended to assist in the presentation of the four Dharmic faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, as per the foundation's goal. This particular video is meant to teach the Jain religion in California 6th grade social studies classes. The Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) located in Buena Park, California, is a non-profit religious organization to pursue a goal of practicing, promoting and preserving the Jain religion. Started in 1979, the present center of 13,000 sq. ft. was opened in 2008 to accommodate the growing Jain population. The exterior design of the center is inspired and reminiscent of ancient Jain temples of Delwada, Ranakpur and Paliana Tirths. Carved Jesalmer yellow limestone was designed and produced in India for the exterior of the building, and the interior uses natural stone including white marble and colorful granite. Each video will allow students to experience these temples as a digital school tour, when visiting them in person might not be possible.

Directed by Mainak Dhar, Produced by Gabriel Bruskoff.

TAYUMANAVAR POEM

We have just finished our second pass through the 1,454 songs of Tayumanavar, a task that took almost daily sessions of two hours for over a year. Yea!

To celebrate, we offer you one of the songs in our English and also in the original Tamil. Plus a BEFORE/AFTER slider of one of the ten works of art our Kerala muralist completed for the project. This will give insight into the process from idea to sketch to final color on canvas. Just move the slider right and left.

CANTO FIFTY-FIVE அகவல்

The Call

Song 1

O perfection-fullness that came in guru's form, filled with knowledge supreme and replete with grace divine! You who stood undivided as One! You of blemishless form pure!

You, the ever undiminished Being and ocean of goodness. You are the beginning; You are the end. You are the bliss; You are the light. You are the truth; You are the endless first Being. Out of Your divine grace You created the earth and all the worlds. Out of the four birth sources 1 You created the seven life genera.2

And so that species could multiply, You created bodies from atoms to mountains, and time, from moment to eon. And as their past karmas deserve, You created the conditions for the life-mass to live for awhile, albeit they have no knowledge of their own and are helpless. Whatever bodies in which they were born, they are happy to be and wish not to part. Towards that end You instilled the love instinct in them and fostered growth, making them feel their body is they.

Thus were they filled with ignorance seeming like knowledge. You fixed time, karma and order, along with hell and high heaven, in impartiality to reach. In endless love You established innumerable faiths, that they might pursue the four ends: dharma, artha and the rest.3 Then, as guru, You imparted knowledge, with each faith contending their own stand as the ultimate truth. Thus arose disputations and scriptures numerous.

In all these You invariably stood beyond, above all faiths. All the celestials and the munis offered themselves. Praying for You to accept them in grace, they hankered for You. In return, You showed them the blemishless wisdom. And to me, who has no wisdom, it is for You to show Your compassionate grace.

Notes:

1. Birth sources refers to egg, sweat, seed and womb.

2. The seven genera refers to celestials, humans, animals, birds, reptiles, aquatic life and plants.

3. Dharma, artha and the rest is a reference to the purusharthas: virtue, wealth, love and liberation.

திருவருள் ஞானஞ் சிறந்தருள் கொழிக்குங் குருவடி வான குறைவிலா நிறைவே நின்ற ஒன்றே நின்மல வடிவே குன்றாப் பொருளே குணப்பெருங் கடலே ஆதியும் அந்தமும் ஆனந்த மயமாஞ் சோதியே சத்தே தொலைவிலா முதலே சீர்மலி தெய்வத் திருவரு ளதனால் பார்முத லண்டப் பரப்பெலாம் நிறுவி அண்டசம் முதலாம் எண்தரு நால்வகை ஏழு பிறவியில் தாழா தோங்கும் அனந்த யோனியில் இனம்பெற மல்க அணுமுத லசல மான ஆக்கையுங் கணமுத லளவிற் கற்ப காலமுங் கன்மப் பகுதித் தொன்மைக் கீடா இமைப்பொழு தேனுந் தமக்கென அறிவிலா ஏழை உயிர்த்திரள வாழ அமைத்தனை எவ்வுடல் எடுத்தார் அவ்வுடல் வாழ்க்கை இன்ப மெனவே துன்ப மிலையெனப் பிரியா வண்ணம் உரிமையின் வளர்க்க ஆதர வாகக் காதலும் அமைத்திட் டூக மின்றியே தேகம் நானென அறிவு போலறி யாமை இயக்கிக் காலமுங் கன்மமுங் கட்டுங் காட்டியே மேலும் நரகமும் மேதகு சுவர்க்கமும் மாலற வகுத்தனை ஏலும் வண்ணம் அமையாக் காதலிற் சமய கோடி அறம்பொரு ளாதி திறம்படு நிலையில் குருவா யுணர்த்தி யொருவர்போ லனைவருந் தத்தம் நிலையே முத்தி முடிவென வாத தர்க்கமும் போத நூல்களும் நிறைவிற் காட்டியே குறைவின்றி வயங்க அங்கங்கு நின்றனை எங்கு மாகிச் சமயா தீதத் தன்மை யாகி இமையோர் முதலிய யாவரும் முனிவருந் தம்மைக் கொடுத்திட்டெம்மை யாளென ஏசற் றிருக்க மாசற்ற ஞான நலமும் காட்டினை ஞானமி லேற்கு நிலையுங் காட்டுதல் நின்னருட் கடனே.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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